UK's Home Retail year profit falls again

LONDON Wed May 1, 2013 2:09am EDT

LONDON May 1 (Reuters) - Home Retail, Britain's biggest household goods retailer, posted a fifth straight fall in annual profit, as its customers continued to bear the brunt of the economic downturn.

The owner of Argos stores and the Homebase DIY chain said on Wednesday it made an underlying pretax profit of 91 million pounds ($141.6 million) for the year to March 2.

Though that was in line with company guidance and analysts' consensus forecast of 90 million pounds, it was 10 percent down from the 102 million pounds made in the 2011-12 year, which itself was a 60 percent fall on 2010-11.

Many British retailers have been finding the going tough as consumers battle a prolonged squeeze in household incomes.

Home Retail has been particularly hard hit because its mainly low-income customers have suffered most and because it faces intense competition from specialist stores, supermarket chains such as Tesco and online retailers like Amazon .

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